ALOR SETAR, Jan 12 ― The Kedah government has still not decided whether to maintain or raise the water tariff rate because there is no official discussion about it with the federal government to date, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
He said the state government would hold a discussion with the federal government and the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) first before it was tabled at the state executive councillors’ meeting on Wednesday.
“We will listen to the arguments from the federal government first because they have the right to co-ordinate the water tariff and we concede the water tariff rate can change following several aspects.
“The changes depend on the amount of water supplied, the expenditure to build the infrastructure and maintenance which involve a large cost,” he told reporters here today.
Earlier, Mukhriz together with deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah and over 800 participants took part in a 40km bicycle Fun Ride in conjunction with the 2019 Red Eagle Tour at the Medan Bandar Alor Setar here today.
Mukhriz said the state government too would look at the formula which the federal government and SPAN would use before deciding on the increase in the water tariff rate towards the B40 group in Kedah.
“If implemented, it will involve a different water tariff rate for the B40 group so we are not sure the approach we will take. We understand the need of the people and it is our priority,” he said.
Last Tuesday, Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar said the water tariff rate might be raised in stages this year in line with the effort of the government to restructure the water supply service industry in the country.
He said the hike in the tariff for the natural resource must be implemented to look after the interests of the consumers to obtain water of quality and to guarantee in terms of the service of the industry. ― Bernama